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4.7 out of 5 stars447
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Price:£67.75 - £109.98
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on 7 March 2010
I've upgraded to the Nintendo DSi XL from a plain ol' White Lite unit, and I could not be more happier if it made the coffee. The XL is a beautiful bit of kit, perfect for young and old alike (I'm only just pushing 21 and I love the idea of a bigger console). Regarding portability issues, if you're someone who only uses their DS at home or sports a backpack/handbag everywhere you go, the XL is perfect. If you're someone who loves shoving their DSi in their pocket before trekking out the front door, you may want to think about just getting or sticking with the smaller DSi - the XL was never really meant to be portable.

A few of the many features which are a definite improvement:-

01) Larger screens. Lots of people have been concerned that the larger screens would make games appear stretched, blocky or pixelated. Not so. The larger screens are beautiful, bright (I use my XL on Brightness Setting 3, and whilst it's slightly darker than the factory setting everything still looks bright and beautiful!) and the new LCD viewing angle is perfect for games played at a table, etc.

02) Speakers. Both DSi systems boast a music facility (Nintendo DSi Sound) where m4a format music tracks can be put on an SD card and played through the DSi XL. You can then muck around with them if you like (the facility boasts a surprising number of gadgets for doing so), change the visualisations much like on Windows Media Player, or just sit back and listen. One of the XL designers mentioned on the "Iwata Asks" interview that not only are the XL's speakers larger than the DSi's, but they have added more holes, which adds to the sound quality. And it really does - songs are loud, crisp without losing their bass, and the speakers work well with both instrumental and vocal tracks. The unit can also turn off its backlights after it detects you're idle to save on battery life, which is a treat.

03) Connectivity. Both my Phat and Lite DSes have had trouble finding our modem from my bedroom (which is only a stones' throw away from our wireless modem!) and have done since I first got them. The XL, on the other hand, has no problems at all. The wireless signal strength is definitely stronger and faster than previous consoles. The internet browser, powered by Opera, is a smidgen slow but perfect for doing on-the-go Google searches (even image searches are processed in a breeze), and the browser is also perfectly capable of displaying Amazon, LiveJournal, eBay and Nintendo itself. The only downside is a lack of flash player (which means you can't access sites like YouTube or Google Video) but really, for a utility to just look things up quickly when you don't want to boot up your laptop, it's a dream. Having a larger screen means a larger keyboard, too, so typing is made remarkably easier.

04) Stylus. The larger stylus that comes with the XL is marvellous. It's the comfiest thing I've ever held, stylus or pen alike, and the little tab on the side stops it from rolling off to God knows where. Sometimes I forget I'm even holding it.

05) Battery life. The XL has an improved battery life over the regular DSi (harking back to the Lite), and on Brightness Setting 3 you can get approximately 9-11 hours (I've tested this, it's true). If you're a battery-conservation freak like I am, you can also turn off your wireless whenever you know you won't be using the DSi Shop or Internet Browser. Just go Settings > Wireless Connections > Turn Wireless: Off. The little yellow light on the left hand side of the top screen will turn off.

The top lid is a bit of a finger print magnet, as the Lite was before it, but it's easy enough to go over with a bit of cloth if you're worried about appearances. The matte bottom is great for holding the console and not getting sweaty hands/having it slip out of your fingers. The Start and Select buttons have been enlarged (so you don't need to press on them as hard as you had to with the Lite), and the moved Power button means fewer accidental turn-offs.

The inbuilt software is a bargain - Doctor Kawashima's Brain Training: Arts Edition is practically a full program if you don't have the original Brain Training cartridge that made the DS so popular, and whilst the Dictionary has a few words missing I imagine it would still help if you're stuck on the crossword. Having the option to look up words in German, French, Spanish, Italian and Japanese is also sort-of cool, if you're interested. (It helps my Dad with decoding his German military history, which is good...) I would also recommend signing onto the DSi Shop and downloading Flipnote Studio (it's 100% free). A lovely little program for writing memos or doing the odd doodle when you're bored. Note that if you connect to the DSi Shop before March 31st, you get 1000 free points to spend on games. I highly recommend Art Style: PiCOPiCT and Starship Patrol if you're into Puzzle/Strategy games.

Finally, the camera is nothing to shout about, but it's great for taking photos to be used on your top screen a la a wallpaper. It's also great for photographing my dog - she doesn't realise it's a camera and sits still for once! The photos can then either be uploaded to FaceBook using the XL's inbuilt internet, or sent to the SD card to be transferred to a computer. The resolution isn't great, but the XL was never made to replace your digital camera anyway.

In conclusion: A vast improvement on its predecessors, perfect for people who are vision-impaired or just want larger game screens, beautiful speaker quality, great wireless connectivity, better battery life, great in-built software. A great machine. I hope Nintendo continues along this path - bigger is better!
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on 10 March 2010
I bought this to replace my DS that I had managed to scratch the screen on, please note any comparisons I give are comparing the DS I have no knowledge of the original DSi.
First impressions were good although larger it did not seem to be that much bigger than the DS but the screen was certainly larger, the first thing I did before even charging it was to put to screen protectors on it so it does not suffer the same fate as my DS.
The setting up was quite straight forward, but needed a lot of info like birthday etc, and because there is internet access it also involved setting up parental controls which are also used to protect the settings so they cannot be changed without the PIN number .The internet wifi setting was quite easy as I have a fairly old system all I had to do was enter the security code, it also supports AOSS for easy set up.
In use the internet although fast with a choice of browsers Google or Yahoo the screen size makes it difficult to use. The top screen shows the full internet page but too small to be useable, to overcome this there is a small square displayed on this screen which is the area shown on the bottom touch screen which can be dragged to show any portion of the page. I was able to access my email this way but would not like to use it for extensive browsing.
It has two cameras one facing towards you and one away, photos can be stored on a SD card (not supplied) the software included allows a lot of fun picture manipulation. The ingenious thing I found with the camera software is the ability to photograph words and translate them into different languages; I would imagine this would be very useful in foreign countries for translating signs.
It is also a music player again tracks can be stored on an SD card, the music software allows considerable listening effects to be applied which although fun did seem to be a bit pointless, you can also record your own sounds and manipulate them.
Both voice recognition and hand writing recognition seems vastly improved the hand writing recognition may be due to the inclusion of an additional larger "pen shaped" stylus which means that hand writing is more natural.
There is a cut down version of one of the brain training programmes built in and of course you can play any of the existing DS or DSi games, the one limitation is that with the inclusion of the SD slot there is no longer room to include the "Game Pak" slot so that "Game Boy Advance" games cannot be played. With the games the extra size does make the games easier to view and play.
Overall a great hand held device which is fun to use even before you put any games in it.
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on 11 October 2010
This is a great upgrade from the DS Lite. I can't compare with the DSi, but I probably wouldn't get it if you've already got a DSi.
I know about the 3DS coming out soon, so I was tempted to wait until then but when I saw the new colours come out, I decided to get it, and I am so glad I did. Plus if you're not tempted to get the 3DS then this is definitely for you.
I read quite a few reviews on the internet that said that the DSi XL was not worth the money or that you should only get it if you have sight problems. But I disagree with this as I am 13, yet really enjoy the huge screens as it makes you feel a lot more involved with the games.
I don't know whether it would be worth the money, as I went to GAME, and traded my DS Lite in with 2 games and a trade in card, and only had to pay £45 for mine. But for £45 this is a bargain!
The screens are huge, and you can only really feel how big they are when you are playing a game on them. Nintendo say that they are 93% bigger which might not mean anything as I imagined the screens to be a little bigger but definitely not as big as they are.
Plus the sound is a much better improvement along with the menu and the pre-installed software.
Everything seems to gel much better on the DSi XL than on the DS Lite.
The camera's though seem to top it off for me, as there are so many different functions you can do with it and I played on it for 2 hours solid without knowing.

A brilliant upgrade and a must buy for DS owners!!
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on 5 March 2010
We used to have a DS lite and it finally went pear shaped...now have a DSiXL!

Nintendo construction is robust and solid with a quality feel. We can still use all our games so we are very pleased (Mum, Dad & 3 yr old)! The larger images are really good and although there is some small pixellation it is very acceptable and we did not find it an issue. Donkey Kong is brilliant and the sound platform has definitely been improved too. We found the weight fine..although it is obviously weightier being a bigger unit. It is certainly more hefty than the DS lite we had for years but our 3 yr old has not struggled and we adults are fine too.

I'm afraid you cant help but be impressed - the new bigger screens (93% bigger by area) are phenomenal, bright and crisp. Start up is quick and takes you to a dashboard where you can access the games, settings, camera, internet, WiFi, pre-loaded software etc.

Yes, it has 2 cameras! One on the top lid that points away from you and another near the microphone in the crease looking at you. We had GREAT fun snapping away our faces...then you can manipulate the images with the provided filters...blur, stretch, morph etc - all with the stylus and so on. Our 3 yr old took 200 images very quickly and there seems to be more space! When the unit powers on, we now have the family shot appear on the top screen!

There is also a sound recorder that allows you to record, edit, manipulate sounds...again our 3 yr old took great delight in playing back her noises, squeals and squawks!

Some software is provided with the unit - brain training and a dictionary facility. The brain training (had the original game) has new tasks from the original one we had...made Mummy pleased! The dictionary is neat (hand write, keyboard or camera options to input)! It also serves as a translator for about 5 languages...also quite cool. Plus, you can capture an image of text with the front camera, highlight the word with your stylus and it will search for it. Quite clever!

We are yet to investigate internet options, the DSi store, memory cards and loads of other things but that will come.

Overall a GREAT product and we are very very pleased. The upgrade from the DS lite is WELL worth it. Should you upgrade from the DSi? Not sure with not owning one. But the screen clarity, extra features and improvements may just tip it.

A recommended family buy! :-)

UPDATED: 25MAR10
- So easy to connect to the internet - Nintendo we salute you...and you get 1000 free DSi points too! We have downloaded 2 iyems from the DSi store very easily and quickly
- Agree with another reviewer that a screen protector is vital - especially with an enthusiastic 3 yr old!
- Cannot seem to get rid of a dutch version of the brain training (??)
- Still a brilliant family buy and heartily recommended...
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VINE VOICEon 4 December 2010
There are enough reviews available here, so I'd just like to add a couple of points about the DSi (and DSi XL) compared to DS Lite, as I'm sure some people are wondering which one they should buy.

Some of the most noticeable improvements from DS Lite to DSi are: (1) DSi has a camera, which you can use as a digital camera (with two lenses with 300,000 (or 0.3 mega) pixels), although compared to modern digital cameras there are much less pixels; (2) the DS (dual-screen) sizes have increased from 3-inches to 3.25-inches; (3) there is an SD memory slot, and (4) the sound quality has improved a lot, which is very important to me!

The DSi XL's functions are more or less the same as the original DSi, but the most obvious difference is that the two displays' sizes are much larger than the DSi, i.e. 4.2-inches which is almost twice as large as the original DSi. So if you'd like to find the latest Nintendo DS, the choice would be either the DSi with a compact size or the DSi XL, and if you prefer the large displays, the XL would be your choice although that means it would cost about £40-50 more.

Hope this helps!
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on 27 November 2010
I bought the Nintendo to keep my grandson busy after I collected him from school - but I had to have a go first. I'm trying very hard to keep up with new technology so I saw this as a challenge.
What an amazing little instrument! My grandson is five years old and was wide-eyed when we used the face and voice changing technology and, since I bought a 'Mario' game I struggle to take the Nintendo away from him.

However, I was most surprised at my own discovery.
I half guessed I wouldn't like the brain-training as I've never particularly liked puzzles or quiz shows ..... and I was right, I don't like the brain-training.
What next - would it all be wasted on me?
I had no idea what games I might like to play as I'd never played one so I thought I'd put a toe in the water - I bought 'Hotel Dusk'.
And my life changed!!!!!
I couldn't put the thing down!
It's a bit like when you find a new author whose book you love and you realise they've written many more and that you have months of delight in store.
The up-shot is that this little device has changed my leisure time and is costing me a fortune in new games!

I recommend it absolutely to anyone as its appeal must be across all age groups.
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on 22 October 2010
I was amazed how much more there is to this product than my existing DS lite which I bought in 2007. The main reason I got it was for the bigger screen - not a young as I used to be!!! I love the pen stylus which is very comfortable to use, although the fact that it cannot 'tuck' into the console itself is a slight drawback

Apart from the above, the added functions are amazing particularly being able to access the internet. Like a previous poster on this site I was also tempted to wait for the 3D version but the bright new colours (opted for the blue one) proved to be the final straw and I gave in....................so glad I did.
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VINE VOICEon 4 December 2010
There are enough reviews available here, so I'd just like to add a couple of points about the DSi (and DSi XL) compared to DS Lite, as I'm sure some people are wondering which one they should buy.

Some of the most noticeable improvements from DS Lite to DSi are: (1) DSi has a camera, which you can use as a digital camera (with two lenses with 300,000 (or 0.3 mega) pixels), although compared to modern digital cameras there are much less pixels; (2) the DS (dual-screen) sizes have increased from 3-inches to 3.25-inches; (3) there is an SD memory slot, and (4) the sound quality has improved a lot, which is very important to me!

The DSi XL's functions are more or less the same as the original DSi, but the most obvious difference is that the two displays' sizes are much larger than the DSi, i.e. 4.2-inches which is almost twice as large as the original DSi. So if you'd like to find the latest Nintendo DS, the choice would be either the DSi with a compact size or the DSi XL, and if you prefer the large displays, the XL would be your choice although that means it would cost about £40-50 more.

*Also, the wine red colour might be a good choice for adult users, especially ladies, as compared to the white or the blue ones, it'd be 'less obvious' when you need to 'use' it in your office, because your colleagues might think you're just checking your schedule in your Blackberry?! \(^0^;)/

Hope this helps!
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on 8 April 2010
I have always enjoyed using the DS, but have recently found some games with very small images quite difficult to see (no spring chicken, me!) I decided to treat myself to the new DSiXL, and am totally over the moon with it. Apart from the inbuilt games and gadgets, which are a brilliant bonus, the larger screen makes things so much clearer. I have hardly put it down since I got it. To quote a well-known phrase: Absolutely Fabulous!!
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on 16 March 2010
At first I was really put off by how much more pixelated everything seemed to be, I even packed it up ready to take back to the shop. But then I played a game on it for about 15 minutes then went back to my DS Lite and wow the difference! the DS Lite although clearer seemed so much smaller.

Overall I have decided to stick with the DSi XL - the screen size really is so much bigger! and I also found my thumb wasn't hurting so much after playing Mario so thats a plus too, and as I had a DS Lite before all the novelty things like camera, internet, option to download games is all fun and exciting at the moment.

I am happy with my purchase although I would say it takes a bit of getting used to.
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